Theater Bassist Dave D'aranjo Re-Stages OPEN THIS PIT UP! at Feinstein's/54 Below
Dave D'aranjo presents "Open This Pit Up!"
A 35th B'day B'way Extravaganza
Friday, July 5th, 2019 at 9:30pm
at Feinstein's/54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club
Broadway's pit orchestra musicians are some of the most passionate, hardworking, and talented people around! On the night of his 35th birthday, bandleader and theater bassist Dave D'aranjo curates a high-energy, groovy evening of contemporary musical theater at Feinstein's/54 Below. With selections from In The Heights, On Your Feet!, Hamilton, Hair, Songs For A New World, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, and more, Dave & his band of stellar pit musicians aim to show how fun & funky things can get underneath the stage.
Hosted by Jake McKenna, Open This Pit Up! features the incredible vocal talents of Tyla Collier (Sistas, The Musical), Julian Diaz-Granados (Ruben and Clay's Christmas Spectacular Reunion Show), Morgan Reilly (Jessie J "R.O.S.E Challenge" Winner), Terrell Foster-James, Georgia Sackler, Kristin Dausch, and Beda Spindola (Revelation: The Musical; Celebrity Undercover Boss w/ Idina Menzel). The killer band features B lint Varga on piano, Lena Gabrielle and James Rushin on keys, Claudio Rain and David Mayers on guitars, Ismael Baiz on percussion, and Elena Bonomo (A Strange Loop; Waitress 1st National Tour) rockin' the drums.
Open This Pit Up! plays Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Friday, July 5th, 2019, at 9:30pm. There is a $40 - $50 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00pm are available for an additional $6 online or by calling (646) 476-3551.
Originally from Singapore, Dave D'aranjo is a bassist, producer, and graduate of Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music. He was the bassist for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical at the historic LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City ("Coffeehouse Chronicles #139"), and has also played in countless regional theater productions of In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde, AIDA, The Wiz, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Last Five Years, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Songs for a New World, Dreamgirls, Pippin, Mamma Mia, and many more.
After a successful first staging of "Open This Pit Up!" in April, Friday's 9:30pm show will only be Dave's second big gig as bandleader. "It's really exciting," D'aranjo says. "I just love the process of learning a show; of playing a book down accurately, and the general down-to-earth but still ridiculously talented vibe of the pit musician colleagues I've met over the years. But oftentimes, these incredible musicians just do their job, unsung, under the stage - or even in completely other rooms of the theater during the show! So I wanted to put together a concert where an audience can really see, hear, and interact with these performers. To put them on a level stage with some incredible Broadway singers, and give the contemporary musical theater repertoire a rock show vibe. As a musician, on-stage shows such as Hedwig & the Angry Inch and City Center's recent production of Songs For A New World deeply affect me in a completely different way. And so I have chosen an incredible team - 8 singers and 8 musicians - to sing 16 of my favorite contemporary Broadway songs. This is music that I have really connected with emotionally over the years - sometimes to the point of tears - while playing bass!"
Friday's concert at 54 Below will feature selections from the following musicals: Memphis, Legally Blonde, HAIR, , In The Heights, Songs For A New World, Spring Awakening, On Your Feet, Hairspray, Waitress, and The Rocky Horror Show. In addition, the band will perform a song from Michael Wartofsky's musical The Man In My Head (recently recorded by Darius de Haas on the CD "All The Possibilities: Broadway Sings Wartofsky") as well as material from a brand-new musical titled Medusa, composed by Rachel Dean and Wes Braver.